What you eat every day is important, but when breastfeeding you’re not only fueling yourself but also your tiny new offspring!
What you eat no longer just affects you — your diet provides your breastmilk with vital nutrients, directly impacting your milk production and your little one’s tummy.
Breastfeeding is a special time in a mother’s life that needn’t necessarily require any radical changes to your diet. Eating wholesome, healthy foods is always a safe bet.
Consider these 5 go-to recipes if you’re a breastfeeding mom to fuel yourself, your milk supply, and your precious bundle.
1. Carrot cake overnight oats
Take your overnight oat game to a whole new level with this carrot cake oats recipe.
Oats are one of the most recommended foods for upping your breastmilk production, and odds are that you already have most of the ingredients in your cabinet or fridge.
It also just takes 10 minutes to whip up this easy, nutritious breakfast. Top with greek yogurt and pecans tomorrow morning and dig in!
2. Lactation granola bars
You’ve probably heard of lactation cookies, which are meant to boost your milk supply. These granola bars offer the same benefits but are less calorie-dense.
Of course, you may need to run to the store for flaxseed, brewers yeast, and wheat germ. You’ll find these ingredients in most lactation recipes so will be able to use them again and again throughout your breastfeeding journey.
When you’ve gathered the ingredients, mix them all together, press the dough into a pan, and bake. Easy peasy!
3. Green lactation smoothie
This recipe combines dark, leafy greens, hemp protein, and coconut to help you produce more milk in no time. It also works as a quick, healthy snack that will give you that boost of energy you need to make it through the day.
Blend the ingredients together, adding strawberries and ice last. Then simply pour into a tall glass and sip away. Bonus: any one-handed snack is a breastfeeding moms’ best friend.
4. Japanese noodle soup
If you’re suffering from mastitis or lacking in milk supply, this soup may help. The recipe calls for garlic, which some say is a natural remedy for mastitis.
Additionally, this soup contains green onions, carrots, spinach, and mushrooms, which all boost lactation. Fermented foods like miso are also a great addition to any diet.
So grab a pot, toss in the ingredients and simmer. Consider doubling the recipe and you’ll have a sippable late-night snack.
5. Crispy sesame tofu with tahini peanut sauce
Tahini, made from ground sesame seeds, gives your body calcium, omega-3, and proteins. These nutrients help you recover from pregnancy and childbirth while promoting growth and development in your baby throughout the first year of their life.
This recipe combines the healing power of tahini with lactation-boosting ingredients like garlic and ginger. Be sure to marinate the tofu for an even more flavorful meal.
Healthy eating is key
The above foods all have one thing in common — they’re healthy! Oats, garlic, leafy greens, and sesame seeds may seem like a random hodgepodge of foods but they’re all known to boost lactation — and are also pretty tasty!
These quick and tasty recipes will ensure you’re fueling yourself and your baby adequately. If none of these recipes strike your fancy, keep the key ingredients in mind while preparing your next meal if you’re a breastfeeding mom.
There’s no need to radically change your own diet
A common misconception any time a baby is fussy is that mom must be eating something wrong.
Onions, spicy foods, and garlic are often labeled as offending foods, so many moms will reduce their diet to nothing but grilled chicken in an attempt to soothe a baby with colic.
But while the foods you eat can influence the flavor of your breast milk, your diet doesn’t actually change its composition enough to cause any real issues.
So don’t worry about dietary restrictions, but, rather, focus on adding healthy variety and balance to your diet, because your health is the best thing you can give your baby.
Some exceptions would be cow’s milk products and soy, both of which have proteins that are known to cross into breast milk.
Occasionally, babies struggle to digest these proteins, so eliminating them from your diet may help reduce any intestinal problems your baby might be experiencing.
This can be easily diagnosed by having your infant’s poop checked for microscopic flecks of blood by your pediatrician.
If your child is diagnosed with a cow’s milk protein or soy intolerance (not the same as an allergy and usually outgrown), then you may need to make some temporary diet changes.1llli.org/breastfeeding-info
CMPI – Cow’s Milk Protein Intolerance